Increase Your Life Satisfaction With This Secret
Want to know the number one secret for increasing life satisfaction? It is such a simple thing, too! Anyone can tap into this and really move the dial on your overall happiness meter.
The regular practice of embracing thankfulness or gratitude is the best bang for your buck to make your life more satisfying, according to positive psychology research conducted over the past few decades.
The Many Benefits of Gratitude
Studies support gratitude’s effectiveness at contributing to greater success in work and improved health. Studies also show those who regularly practice gratitude experience improved performance in sports as well as business, a higher sense of mental well-being, and an enhanced resiliency allowing faster recovery from surgery and illness. An attitude of gratitude has been shown to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, improve relationships, and promote better quality and longer sleep.
The Challenge Is To Rewire Your Brain
While it’s exciting to see the many benefits from practicing gratitude, the challenge comes in sustaining that attitude of gratitude. As humans, you come wired to notice what is broken, undone or lacking around you. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in your life, it needs to become more than just a word you use at Thanksgiving. You have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And this can take some time–time to rewire the brain.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When you practice giving thanks for all you have, instead of complaining about what you lack, you give yourself the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing. Robert Emmonds, the world’s scientific authority on gratitude, defines gratitude as having two parts;
- Gratitude affirms that there IS goodness in the world–gifts and benefits that you’ve received.
- There is recognition that the source of this goodness is from outside ourselves–other people, entities or spiritual existences have brought this goodness to you through gifts and blessings, large and small.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where you put your focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when you focus on the gifts of life, you gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances you and gives you hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, Jersey tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, your health, butterflies. What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude Regularly
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists or you can write creatively about something for which you feel gratitude. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit–write every morning or every night. Even just keeping that journal where you can see it can act as an anchor to remind you to think in a grateful way. Consistency is the key here.
• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures of people, things and experiences for which you feel gratitude.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine to speak gratitude with family members.
• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
As your practice continues, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you’re feeling.
A Gift For You
And because I am so grateful for you in my life, I want to offer you a gift as a token of my gratitude. I’ve created a gratitude journal that you can download, print out, and use to begin your own gratitude practice. If you already practice gratitude consistently, take your practice to the next level with this gift. Go here and enter your name and email address and you will get instant access to your own daily gratitude journal. You are a blessing to me! Thank you for being you.